Latvia v Scotland Report

World Cup Qualifying Match
Daugava Stadium, Riga, Latvia, Saturday 5th October 1996, K.O: 19:15

Latvia 0, Scotland 2 (HT: 0-1), Riga, 5/10/96, 19:15, Attendance: ??

SCOTLAND: Goram, McKinlay (McNamara 80), Whyte, Jackson, Spencer (Dodds, 60), Collins, McAllister, McCall (Lambert 45), Burley, Subs(not used): B. McAllister, McGinlay
Scorers: John Collins (18), Darren Jackson (78)

Referee: Jiri Ulrich, (Czech Rep)

Match Report

The trio of Derek Whyte, Darren Jackson (!?!) and John Spencer were returned to full duty for this match following a string of injuries to some players on Craig Browns 'preffered' list.

Scotland quickly took control of the match and it was clear that they were the better side. A couple of early chances gave the Latvians a fright and set the mood for the match. Within the first 5 minutes, a good ball to Spencer was just nicked from under him before he could shoot from a good position and Gary McAllister cracked a long range effort towards the Latvian goal, forcing the keeper into a good save.

A well worked set peice from a free kick finally gave Scotland the opener through John Collins in 18 minutes. Further attacks were thwarted and half time came with Scotland cruising to maintain their 1-0 advantage.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first with Spencer coming close from a well taken header. Latvia looked threatening for the first time when a couple of long range efforts were sent towards the Scotland goal although, Goram had them both covered.

Billy Dodds replaced a tiring Spencer to win his first cap in about 60 minutes.

The referee then saw yellow for a while, booking Collins for nothing and McAllister for a slightly rough challenge. This meant a one match ban for the Scotland captain due tio previous cautions.

The just rewards were finally meted out in 78 minutes when Darren Jackson (?!?!) hammered home number 2 with a perfect long range effort to seal the match. A loud cheer went up at the end of the match before the Latvian police / military moved in to start mugging the Scots fans for 20 - 40 US from anyone they could get their hands on ! Theft with a truncheon! Tough, uncivilised and dangerous country, promising team and good Scottish victory.


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